Iman Zand
Director General
Grupo Kazerooni
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View from the Top

Quality Control for Component Sourcing

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 12:56

Q: How has Grupo Kazerooni evolved since it was founded two years ago?

A: Grupo Kazerooni was established in Mexico in mid2012 to import industrial material. Since the beginning, we really tried to define ourselves as importers of hardto-find American-made material for the Mexican market. The company took shape by specializing in providing material needed for PEMEX’s refineries, including valves, plates, fittings, tubing, pipes, and threaded rods that come from top-notch reliable manufactures and distributors. The majority of the materials we bring in come from mills and fabricators in Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK, and most importantly the US. We see quality control as something very important, and started noticing there was a problem in the Mexican market: a lack of paper trails. The paperwork of a lot of the materials available in Mexico could not be traced. When investigating and asking for proof of where this material had come from, the primary response would be the US without precise information. Digging a little deeper, we began to realize that a lot of the material came from a variety of different countries that are known for not delivering the highest quality. Once we understood this problem, we could begin to be part of the solution. We felt that the best way to import high quality material to Mexico was to source it directly from well-known mills with the shortest lead time possible. This helped in cutting costs down by up to 70% for the end user. This has really been a huge asset for us and has enabled us to get our name out there and gain momentum in this business.

Q: What response have you received from the Mexican oil and gas industry to the added value of providing the necessary paperwork for the components you offer?

A: Companies are really worried about quality certification, since everyone is at risk when material that is not properly certified is used at facilities and construction projects. Two risks stem from this: the first is that companies can get into legal trouble in case there is some problem with the installation or with the sold material. The second comes from clients, how can a company offer a service when it is not even sure about the properties of the material? Sometimes they offer products while they have no idea either where the material comes from, who manufactured it, and if it meets quality standards or not. These materials are then introduced into PEMEX installations, and we are left to wonder how all this could be done with confidence.

A: We are the only company in Mexico that is actually showing the dual-certification of its material. This is even more important for the companies that work with ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers). ASME certified companies are responsible for showing these, which is something that we are more than happy to supply. A lot of suppliers feel that showing an ISO certificate will help give their customers the confidence they are looking for. However, once an ISO certificate is given, products are not necessarily tested for quality afterwards. Passing an ISO certification inspection just once is no guarantee of quality.

Q: To what extent would you frame the competitive advantage of manufacturing transparency as a safety issue?

A: This is largely a safety issue and an insurance policy, as our key strategy is to let this industry know that buying quality components equals buying an insurance policy. If an accident happens at a refinery, the fault would entirely lie with the company that supplied faulty material without verifying its quality. Companies need to realize that purchasing sub-standard material is a liability for the future. The best defense against such a situation is to avoid all paths that lead you in the wrong direction.

Q: What are Grupo Kazerooni’s ambitions for the coming year?

A: Our market opportunities begin when PEMEX’s service providers cannot find the materials that the oil company needs for its facilities. Some of these materials are really hard to find in Mexico, or are of questionable quality at high prices. Suppliers take advantage of the lack of competition to jack prices up or to cut corners on quality. This is why we provide an integrated service in searching for the materials our clients need, giving them as many choices as possible.

Our warehouse is in Cadereyta, but we are planning to open offices in Salamanca, Villahermosa, and Ciudad del Carmen. We have noticed that the further south you go, the harder it is to find quality material. It is our goal to support companies in those areas with limited access to such material. We are very ambitious in increasing our market and want to offer the highest quality material and the best service that Mexico’s component market has ever seen.